Africa Odyssey Reviews – 2012

7th January 2020

S. Ansbaugh, USA. 2012.

Hi Edward ,

Thank you and thanks to Africa Odyssey for another incredible trip of a lifetime! We are officially hooked. Our recent trip to Rwanda and Uganda was truly life changing. We met some of the most incredible and inspiring people on our trip and saw some of the best sights of our lives visiting our ‘distant relatives’ the mountain gorillas of Uganda’s Impenetrable Forest. We stayed at the Bwindi Safari Lodge in pure paradise bliss looking out at the beautiful birds and dense forest complete with black and white colobus monkeys. The staff at the lodge treated us with the highest level of service. It was pure bliss and heaven on earth.

Our guide was incredible and very knowledgeable and taught us so much about the history of the two countries, the flora and fauna, and truly has become a dear friend. We were extremely moved by the kindness and spirit of the people we met. It would be a dream to travel again with Africa Odyssey. Hmmm…Botswana and the wild dogs???

Perhaps you’d like to add some of the photos or video to your site to showcase these amazing locations.

Oh, I should also add that Africa Odyssey was extremely helpful when we had to make some last minute adjustments to our travel itinerary. We were so pleased with the high level of service that we received and the quick, helpful, and efficient way this was handled. We felt so relieved that we had booked our trip through such a superb and reputable company!

Thanks,

Winter, 2012. USA.

Hi Ted!

I’ve been meaning to send you guys a note as I definitely have lots of great feedback, but in short, until then, I had an absolutely amazing, life-changingly wonderful time. Jongomero was by far the highlight of the trip for me, although I can see how it might not be everyone’s cup of tea given it’s so remote, but for the more adventerous types, I’d even go so far as to suggest spending more time there first, then only a night or two at Selous – but I’ll send you more detailed notes shortly.

The entire staff at Jongomero was top notch – sophisticated and classy, without being pretentious. The food was great, and the guides were incredible. Modest was my game drive guide, and I absolutely loved him – he had a great sense of humor and made sure he indulged everyone’s requests to “follow that bird” or whatever critter or piece of landscape we were after.

The only true negative was the one place you weren’t sure about recommending, which was Jafirji House in Stone Town. The place itself was beautiful, but the service was lacking, and there were bedbugs, so I probably wouldn’t give a thumbs up for that place again for a little while, just as you guys suggested.

Also, for Ras Nungwi – it was definitely a beautiful location, and the staff was wonderful, but I would maybe steer single travelers away from it, as it really had a “family” feel to it. I upgraded my room when I arrived, and ended up having a stunning view, so I’d definitely suggest you recommend specific room numbers when making reservations – I think I had #1, and my view was incredible.

E. Fleming and J. Ledyard, UK. 2012.

Dear Africa Odyssey,

[I have lost my email Contacts so if this can be passed on to the man who planned our trip, we’d very much appreciate it.]

This is a belated note of thanks for our trip to Selous Safari Camp in Tanzania last July 21-25. You may recall, my husband was very excited about the trip, but I was quite nervous. I want to thank you for your prompt and reassuring replies to my questions. As a result, I embarked on the trip with enthusiasm, which made the trip an exciting adventure, not a fearful one!

Ironically, thing I feared most, the ride in the prop plane, was beautiful — not a single bump, just a feeling of serenity, surrounded by blue sky, looking down at the African landscape. We were greeted so graciously and cordially by Emil and staff with cool drinks, escorted to our exquisite rooms to freshen up and meet up for a boat ride, where our adventure began–and didn’t end until we left.

We saw every animal we had hoped to see, and many more. Giraffes, elephants, hippos, zebras, wildebeest, lions and cubs a few feet from our Jeep, chimpanzees with babies riding on their parent’s backs, even a large turtle walking along by itself. All agreed the high point was a sighting of Wild Dogs. Our driver was determined that we would see these rare animals. He did, and we saw them —and their cubs— migrate from one area to another. We never expected to see them, and treasure the video and photos we were able to get.

My favorite experience, was the day I took a nap while everyone went on the boat one more time. When I woke up, I sat at the antique desk on the veranda where I wrote postcards with a giraffe a few yard away, elegantly nibbling leaves . As if on cue, the man who took care of us, appeared with a tray of tea and freshly baked apple cakes. He was so gracious. As I enjoyed these delicacies, a baby elephant ambled slowly across our land. What a memorable afternoon.

I could go on and on. Altho I approached this trip with ‘fear and trembling,’ I would love to return. It goes without saying my husband, John Ledyard, was utterly thrilled with this trip: the quality of every detail, the experience itself, and becoming acquainted with Emil and all the lovely people at Selous, including the Maasai warriors.

With much appreciation and joy,

S. Broeker, UK. 2012.

Hi Ed,

Thanks for your mail. The trip was absolutely marvellous.

Ras Nungwi
Ras Nungwi on Sanzibar was the perfect place to start our honey moon. Great service and a fantastic atmosphere. The food is great and the scenery is stunning. Also not too expensive.

We strongly recommend this place to everyone!

Selous Safari (private camp)
I don’t believe it gets any better than this. At Selou you get your own buttler and maid. The food is amazing. The staff is extremely friendly without being too on you. As honeyooners they gave us extra attention and organised the most amazing surprise dinner. In general -without giving away too much- these guys are good at surprises.

The game drives are wonderful, too. We saw more animals than we hoped for. The guides were absolute pro. We cried when we had to leave.

Ras Kutani
The setting though is extremely beautiful. On your arrival you’ll be rowed over a little lagoon to the hotel. Very romantic! If you do decide to stay at Ras Kutani you should stay in the villas on top of the hill or in one of the bungolows at the beach.

Overall we had a great time. Everything worked out perfectly!

CHEERS

L. Wattiau, Belgium. 2012.

Hi Edward,

We want to thank you very much for the great organization of our honeymoon. Our expectations were high but they were definitely matched and even surpassed. Not only was Tanzania a superb destination, each part of the trip (mountain, safari, Zanzibar) as well as each hotel added value to this unique experience. In each hotel, we were very happy with the room we got (ex: nice terrace with breathtaking view on Mt Meru and surrounding hills in Onsea, bungalow facing the see in Ras Nungwi, room with roof top bathroom in Zanzibar Palace, …)

Climbing up to the top of Mt Meru was certainly not an easy walk (for us) but how rewarding it was to see the sun rising above Mt Kili and the surrounding see of clouds. Definitely worth it…and one of my highlights! (also because it provides the opportunity to walk in the nature vs. sitting in a car most of the time during the safaris )

Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro Crater were amazing but, in our opinion, could not compete with Serengeti where nature is somehow ‘wilder’ and all around you at all time. Also because Serian is just unrivalled…definitely our favorite place during the trip.

With regards to the guides, they were both great in Manyara/Ngorongoro and Serengeti.

We also liked our stay in Zanzibar, very relaxing. We also scuba dived and went on a dolphin trip. This was definitely one of Nathalie’s highlights on Zanzibar. We went to Kizimkazi in the afternoon (instead of the morning as usually done by tourists). Besides two fishermen’s boats, our private boat was the only one out at that time. We actually saw several groups of dolphins and came back to Kizimkazi at sunset.

We are extremely happy of our honeymoon, you really made it a unique experience! All the organization was just perfect (as already mentioned above)…thank you again for that!

Kind regards,

C. Schwam, USA. 2012.

Ted

First forgive the delay in my writing to you about our most incredible safari…..truly a trip of a lifetime! We had a totally awesome time and incredible experiences. Plantation Lodge was so beautiful, our accomodations were upgraded so Janet and I each had our own room. We were not complaining! The staff was friendly, courteous, professional and very welcoming.The food and the wine were excellent. Godlisten was our guide in Manyara and the crater. He was knowledgeable and attentive to our interests, a great guide. We encountered so much wildlife as well as local cultural experiences. One highlight was seeing a pride of 7 lionesses feasting on an African buffalo kill. When they finished they laid in the tall grasses for a bit before three sauntered over seeking the shade of our vehicle. They were right below us, we could hear their breathing, yawning, see them stretching, gazing up at us with their amber eyes. An unbelievable experience for us. Two lions in separate areas laid off on the other side of the dirt road and one bloodied lioness laid in the high grasses across the road as well. We saw many baboons with babies clinging onto their mothers. The landscape and the trees were beautiful. On the roads outside the park we talked with young Masai with ceremonious white face paint who had recently been circumcised. They were happy to have their pictures taken and to receive a few dollars. We met young children who were happy to receive the pencils we had brought with us and the food we had not eaten for lunch. Godlisten offered these to the children. We saw the poverty and are very aware of how fortunate we are. We hoped we were supporting the local economy. We were sad to leave Plantation Lodge and Godlisten…he is a very fine young man.

The bush plane ride into the Serengeti was awesome. We loved it. Alex Walker’s camp was our absolute favorite. The Serengeti is spectacular and the camp was really great. Our guides, Baraca and Sybull were the BEST. My friend Janet had some difficulty in and out the vehicle which was a bit high for her because of knee difficulty. Both these guys were so sensitive and attentive, offering help and assistance in the most gentlemanly way. Our experiences in the Serengeti were more than we hoped for…….two black rhino sightings, masses of African buffalo, zebras, gazelles, topis, elephants, crockidiles, hippos, a cheetah, two baby leopard cubs in a tree wih mama down below. We saw many, many birds and were able to identify many of them by the end of our time with Baraca and Sybul. We witnessed three wilderbeast crossings and the drama of a wilderbeast taken down by a croc…I will admit it was difficult to watch but as our guides explained, the one wilderbeast gave its life for all the others who made it across. The vastness of the Serengeti was spectacular. And our guides made it an incredible experience. We had an absolute blast with them. Our tent was beautiful and the beds were very comfortable, showers always hot and ready…not to mention the sundowners and the kilamanjaro beer. We enjoyed the dinners and meeting with other guests from around the world. All the staff was helpful and friendly. Alex and Billie were delightful hosts. My only disaapointment was not being able to go on a walking safari. I will have to go back for that, perhaps to a more remote area of Africa. I would love to take my family to Alex Walker’s camp sometime in the future, especially a fterI win the lottery. Keep me in mind if there’s ever a family special.

Arriving in Stone Town felt like we were transported to another place. The cultural experience was amazing. The spices, the food, the streets, alleyways, the colors, the history was all awesome. Ras Nungwi was beautiful. Our room was upgraded there as well to ocean front. Again we met so many interesting people. We watched the opening ceremony of the Olympics with an English family, a young couple from South Africa and some guys from Kuwait. On our last day we spent time in Stone Town and at a local spice farm. We had a few different guides during that day, all offering interesting history and perspective.

Ted our trip was totally incredible. Thank you for helping us plan it and for arranging a great safari. Will definitely contact you and Africa Odyssey for my next trip to Africa.

Cheers

G. Browne, USA. 2012.

We had a fabulous trip! Your camp suggestions and planning details were perfect.

The only thing that did not go according to plan was the buffalo crossed the river and didn’t return to Duba Plains during our stay. As a result, we didn’t see any great lion action at Duba. The good news is that it gives us an excuse to go back. The highlight of the Duba Plains camp was seeing a newborn elephant. It still had the umbilical cord attached and its ears were pink. It was wobbly and having problems finding his mother’s breast. Very cute. Duba Plains also has a terrific chef!

The highlight of Lebala camp was finally seeing a cheetah! In the past we’ve seen the big five, the little five, the ugly five, etc. but never a cheetah… It took two days of tracking but our excellent guides finally found it, twice, and with a kill. We got some excellent pictures. We also had a very close encounter with an elephant and her two juveniles eating the trees right outside our tent. They were so close we could have reached out and touched them, but we’re not stupid.

Kwetsani was a lovely little camp. We loved being up in the tree houses. It was fun to watch the bushbuck and the baboon family that lived near out tent. We couldn’t help but notice that the monkeys and baboons in Botswana are much better behaved than those in South Africa. A highlight was being there for Botswana Day with lots of singing and dancing around the boma. Game viewing was very good and the staff were delightful. We thought this camp should have 5 paws, not 4.

All in all it was a great trip. Thank you for everything you did to arrange it.

Please call if you have questions or if I can be of help.

J. Ritzema, UK. 2012.

We had an amazing time and thanks so much for all your help and advice in planning it. Your advice to upgrade to Selous Safari Camp was spot on and we were impressed as to how you took on board what we wanted from our stay at the beach when recommending the Ras Nungwi. We had the time of our lives wandering up and down the near deserted beach.

We were overwhelmed by the kind nature and generosity of everyone that we met. The combination of safari, beach and city was perfect, 3 holidays in one. Flying back next to the pilot from Zanzibar to the mainland was awesome! Everything went to plan.

Selous Safari Camp

If you are planning a trip to Selous and think this camp is outside your budget please push the boat out and stay there, you will not be disappointed. The camp is truly excellent. The accomodation is superb, to describe them as tents does not do them justice. The beds are huge. To shower outdoors whilst being watched by a baboon was quite an experience and to sit on your verandah watching giraffes a stones throw away was quite special. Elephants round the swimming pool was the icing on the cake. A word of warning – you will now get much sleep as the animals pass by under darkness but what a special thing to lie in bed listening. Food was excellent, I am a vegetarian and the chef was wonderful in making creations just for me. Pietro and Ricus run a superb ship, to be met by at least one of them with cold towels or a drink after every trip to make sure it was just so was a very personal touch and their company around the fire in the evenings was much welcomed. The guiding was superb, our guides surpassed all our expectations. It felt like whatever we wanted to see they managed to find! A safari in Selous is special, the small number of camps make you really feel like you have the place to yourselves. Go on the walking safari, you might not see big animals but it was fascinating to learn about animal life in the bush and to walk past a bush from which a hyena ran out was superb. All I would say is ignore the tip guide in your guidebook and bring double – you will want to thank everybody for making your stay so special.

Beyt al Chai

This is a great hotel if you are after somewhere with character right in the heart of Stone Town. Our room was lovely, with lots of windows. The Serena Hotel is right in front of you so you don’t get an open aspect. Room was spacious with a quirky way of locking the door (I ended up locking my husband in so he couldn’t meet me as arranged which could have been difficult!). Only downside with the room is there was no shower just a bath attachment and the bathroom is part of the bedroom which might put some people off from a privacy point of view. Small friendly bar downstairs. The service was very slow when we had lunch in the restaurant and for breakfast but food was good. Upside for us was its location, you could walk into the town and gardens at night without having to negotiate the narrow back streets that some of the other hotels were located on which meant we felt safe at all times. Well insulated we thought we’d be woken by the prayer calls all night as there is a mosque a few feet away but we managed to sleep through it. Worth upgrading to a sultan room.

V. Kite, Australia. 2012.

Hi Ed,

Will give some more specific feedback sometime later this week.

Game viewing was excellent…so much so that after the first 7 days Marg looked at me and said, “well, what else is there to see? What are we going to do for the next 3 weeks??”

As you would expect, we saw lions everywhere – as usual, lying around looking fat and doing nothing! I think we saw lions at every camp/lodge (except Mahale and Ras Kutani of course – he he!). The lions were so inactive we got excited when they even did so much as stand up. However, did catch lions mating at two places.

Plenty of leopard sightings (three separate sighting at Ruaha) and cheetahs (Ruaha and Tarangire) also. Saw wild dogs both days at Lake Manze. The chimps were amazing – if I were to tell you that we even got an extra chimp viewing session when they came into camp the morning we were leaving, you wouldn’t charge me extra would you??

In the Serengeti, we saw our first crossing 5 minutes after being picked up from the airstrip when we casually drove down to the river for a quick look – nobody else there either, as they were crossing north to south, so no one had been watching for them. Saw a huge crossing each day…got sick of all the death and destruction. The migration was in full swing in the area when we were there.

No rhino sightings unfortunately – never mind.

Highlights:

Food and various ‘experiences’ created by the Beho Beho team (lowlight – how much weight I put on).

Wild dogs (my favourites) at Lake Manze

Overall game viewing at Ruaha – definitely the best overall game viewing of the whole trip, aided by an excellent guide (Joffrey)

Mahale and Lake Tanganyika – everything about it! – the camp, the chimps, the varied experiences and things to do, and above all the wonderful guides there

Serengeti – the lodge (Lamai)…particularly the pool! Sighting of a male leopard right on dusk…then hearing another leopard call in the distance, and witnessing the male leopard cab reuniting with his mother

Tarangire – night drive, and the wonderful relaxed atmosphere created by our favourite managers, Ken and Michelle (strangely enough, who happened to be fellow Aussies)

Ngorongoro – such a wonderful surprise when Peter turned up on our first night there to be our butler at the Crater Lodge – he came back especially for the two days in the middle of his leave just for us; wine and cheese out on Marg’s deck overlooking the Crater is an experience I’ll never forget

Ras Kutani – an absolutely perfect, relaxing way to end. So glad we went here rather than to Zanzibar

Made some great friends in our travels

Cheers,

K. and B. Wagenaar, USA. 2012.

Hi Edward,

We just wanted to write you a quick note to thank you so much for the AMAZING honeymoon safari that you planned for us. The natural beauty and wildlife were spectacular, the accommodations were unbelievably luxurious and the service was impeccable. Thank you for making our honeymoon safari just perfect!

Thank you so much for planning an absolutely amazing honeymoon in Tanzania for us! The nature and animals which we saw were spectacular, the service was impecable and the accommodations were top notch. The weather in September was perfect. We were amazed by the abundance and variety of animals. We were surprised how often we would see so many different species together at the same time. We were thrilled by our incredible luck to witness the great wildebeest migration and even a river crossing! It was just like a National Geographic documentary! The accommodations and service were impeccable. We never needed to look at the itinerary once because we were always promptly met and guided through our adventure by a friendly, well informed guide. The accommodations were breathtaking and the food was gourmet – how they created five star quality meals in a tent in the middle of the Serengeti is simply amazing. Your knowledgeable recommendations and guidance for our trip was more than we had hoped for. Thank you for making our honeymoon an unforgettable experience of a lifetime!

J. Brewer, USA. 2012.

Lodgings – The lodgings were all excellent.

Arusha – Onsea House was beautiful, but there was only there enough time to get a few hours sleep and some breakfast before we were on our way. The staff was very welcoming.

Tarangire – Oliver’s Camp…… Wow! Ken and Michelle are great people and great managers. They employ absolutely the best staff, chefs, and guides. It was great sitting on the front porch of our tent and watching elephants and waterbuck stroll by. The food was great and could be served in any of our nice restaurants at home. At mealtime guests all sat together at one table with Michelle and Ken at every meal listening to and entertaining us. One of the guests did have a problem when a honey badger invaded their outdoor shower and kept them at bay for a while. Although the showers at Oliver’s are ensuite, there is one side open to the outdoors. At our other camps, the showers were accessible only from the tent. Perhaps that’s a better design when it comes to keeping the shower free of wildlife. The guides, Mesenga and Erasto, were outstanding and knowledgeable about all the wildlife and birds. This was our first game experience and everything was a wildlife highlight. There were great numbers of elephants, zebra and buffalo, lion with zebra kill, lions roaring at night, elephants eating the brush outside our tent at night, wildebeest, impala, giraffe, cheetahs, wild dogs, gerenuk, hartebeest, a python in a tree, kori bustard, dik diks, secretary birds, eagles, owls, vervet monkeys, hornbills, baobob, sausage and candelabra trees, and on and on. We went on 2 night drives, which were fine, but they need to do something better about spotting wildlife in the dark (perhaps a spotlight on each side of the vehicle instead of a single handheld light with the spotter). Does anybody in the bush use infrared sensors to find game at night?

Lake Manyara – The drive was interesting and of course totally different from a game drive. We were disappointed with our Asilia guide, Esto, who took us from Olivers through Lake Manyara and on to Ngorongoro Crater. He was knowledgeable, but it was near the end of the second day before he warmed up to the cordiality shown by our other guides. And we had quite a scare when he apparently fell asleep at the wheel and started to drift off the road. Luckily we were both awake and called to him. At Lake Manyara we did not see any lions, in trees or otherwise, so that was disappointing, but we did see olive baboons with babies, blue monkeys, some elephants, lots of pelicans, hippos, storks, flamingos, and other birds to make up for it. We saw a dead elephant (our guide said it died of natural causes), with rangers in the ready to remove the tusks. Very sobering.

Ngorongoro Crater – Sopa Lodge…. We really expected that Sopa would be too “touristy” and crowded for us but it was not. It was a really nice place. We had a room with a great view of the crater and of course our welcome champagne from you. It doesn’t get better than that! The room was great and the bed had a hot water bottle in it to keep us toasty at night. Nice touch. We went down to the Crater early (left at 6:15) so we could see the sun rise on the Crater. Beautiful. Wildlife highlights were 2 black rhino, lions including a grants gazelle kill, cheetah, hippo, black backed jackal, zebra, buffalo. crowned crane, vultures, buzzards, kites, our only African hare, hyenas and one very lucky wart hog that did not end up as dinner for the hyenas.

Serengeti – Serengeti Under Canvas. They have a great reputation and their service lived up to it. Our butler, Alex, was quick to prepare a shower and quick to offer a drink (we loved Amarula and Afrikoko liqueurs). Their chef was great…. we especially liked his soup recipes. They varied our eating arrangements to sometimes be at single tables on the lawn to sometimes having all the tables being under the dining fly. There’s nothing that can compare to the romantic atmosphere of a gourmet dinner by candlelight in the wilds of the Serengeti. On the downside of Under Canvas…. they are not on top of their maintenance issues. The tent had missing zipper pulls, including the inside pull on the main door/flap, and had zippers that had ripped away from the canvas. The safari vehicles had plastic floor covering that was worn though and cracked. It didn’t make the vehicles any less useful, but for the premium price paid for Under Canvas, it would seem they could afford to keep things close to 5-star quality. It also seemed odd that the staff was not as concerned regarding safety issues …. At our other camps, when we were escorted to/from our tents at night, the camp personnel would be shining flashlights / torches into the woods and grass to see if there were any animals and it was obvious that they were watching out for our (and their) safety. At Under Canvas, there did not seem to be any care taken when moving through the camp at night. The butler walked with us with a flashlight, but did not shine it anywhere but on the path, then he walked back to the staff area with no flashlight for himself. We probably wouldn’t have noticed, so much, except that at Oliver’s, when we were escorted to our tent, when the flashlight was shown through the grass, many eyes were looking back at us. All benign eyes, luckily. Under Canvas had all sorts of animal sounds at night, but the personnel didn’t take any extra care to assure anything near our path was benign. Now to the wildlife. You suggested we stay 4 nights in Serengeti to increase the chances of seeing a crossing. Well we got to see wildebeest crossing the Mara River (our guide said 5000 or more) within 2 hours of landing at Kogatende!!!!!! It took our breath away. We had just landed at Kogatende and the guide picking us up said that we should hurry because the wildebeest looked like they were ready to cross, and he asked them to wait for us 🙂 It was awesome. We watched them for a couple of hours gathering to the left, then turning and running to the right bank of the river, going down to the river’s edge and then back again. And then all of a sudden one leaped into the river…….and we had a crossing. The vehicles all made a mad dash for the river’s edge and for 19 minutes there were wildebeest leaping into the river, being swept downstream against the current, toward hippos and crocs, but from our vantage point able to make it safely to our side of the river. The only sounds were that of wildebeest gruntings and their hoofs pounding along the riverbanks. After 19 minutes all that were going to cross had and there was silence. It was so surreal – we were totally overcome by the moment! Our guide, David was with us for this and all our drives. He was very knowledgeable and really worked hard to find wildlife for us such as lions including cubs, leopard, zebra, impala, buffalo, giraffe, ostrich including nest with eggs, buzzards, kites, eagles, klipspringer, eland, waterbuck, topi, oribi, baby hyena, rock hyrax, grants and thomsons gazelles, even a dung beetle, and on and on and on.

Selous – Selous Safari Camp – The absolute top accommodation was Selous Safari camp. The tents were beautiful. The view to the lake from the tent was beautiful. The elephants, giraffes, and baboons wandering past the tent was exciting, not to mention bushbaby and hippos sounds at night. The dining area was beautiful. The scenery around the camp was beautiful. As with Ken and Michelle at Oliver’s, Emiel at Selous is a great manager, and we enjoyed his company at meal times as well. He also had a great chef and great staff. Our butler, Hassam, took excellent care of us and always wanted us to eat more! Our walking safari with Gerald was fun and informative. The boat safaris, with Makuma and Kandindi, on the lake afforded nearly uncountable species of birds (fish eagle, kingfisher, spoonbill, herons, etc.) and nearly uncountable numbers of crocodiles and some exciting moments of big game near the shore. But don’t let those comments take anything away from our jeep safaris in Selous. Our guide, Allen, did everything to be sure we got to see the most that we could. When he heard that wild dogs had been spotted, he took as many road short cuts that he could to get us to see the dogs before they moved off or before it got dark. It was a pack of 10 dogs and the pups were cute as they chased one of the vehicles as it drove off. And for our sundowner, he took us to watch a pride of 12 lions eating a buffalo. Awesome. When Allen took us to the airport for our flight back to Dar to return home, he took a detour so we could have one last game drive of greater kudu before we left. Allen is a real treasure. Other wildlife we saw there included yellow baboon, mongoose, weavers, woodpecker, heron, kingfisher, nile monitor. The list just goes on, including ebony and mahogany trees.

Top game viewing moments were…. Hundreds elephants in Tarangire. The truly endless plains with what looked like a million wildebeest and half a million zebra (as far as the eyes could see) and the incomparable spectacle of wildebeest crossing the Mara river in Serengeti. Rare black rhino in Ngorongoro. Being within a few feet of lion prides (and their kills) and wild dogs in Selous.

Our check off list consists of 46 different mammals, 143 birds, and 15 different kinds of other critters like snakes, lizards, etc.

We will send a few of our best pictures that captured the best moments. With over 2100 pictures snapped, we haven’t reviewed them all, yet, but I will skip ahead to some I know were of some exciting for us. Since the picture files are large, we’ll send them via separate email posts, a couple at a time.

We’ll definitely be in touch when we’re ready for our next African adventure. It’s too good to only do once.

H. Murphy, UK. 2012.

Hi Ted,

Thanks for your email, I had been meaning to email you actually to thank you for a totally amazing trip.

We had such a fantastic time, each of the different places were brilliant in their own way, and we are very grateful to you for suggesting such a perfect itinerary.

Each stage was exactly what we wanted and needed and for just the right amount of time.

Ras Kutani was so relaxing and beautiful and the food was delicious, just what we needed after the wedding.

Selous was simply breath-taking from the beautiful lodge with the picturesque setting right by the lake, to the adrenalin fuelled game drives, walking safaris and fly camping. We are so glad you suggested the walking and fly camping, these aspects really allowed us to feel that we were getting stuck into the whole safari and we had some really close encounters with lots of animals, our guide Mtambo was excellent really knowledgeable and reassuring. Our game driver Allen was also brilliant, we saw everything, Lions, Elephants, Water buffalo, Hippos, and warthogs but to name a few – he was very funny and patient too. Our sunset cruise on the lake was also incredible, Kandini took us to a tiny island and set up drinks and canapés as we watched one of the most amazing sunsets I have ever seen.

Then to spend a week on Zanzibar afterwards just relaxing and taking it all in was the perfect end to the holiday, we enjoyed snorkelling, kayaking, boat trips and a visit to the local fishing village. Raz Nungwi was lovely, really relaxed, great food and staff and a lovely beach / pool area, our room was also very comfortable, clean and a good size.

We also got upgraded to Club both there and back which was fantastic and such a good start and end to our honeymoon.

In short, it was one of the best holidays we have ever been on and we loved it – thanks very much for all your help in planning and booking it!

Warfield, USA. 2012.

Hi Ted, and Ed,

I have to tell you that my wife and I were so thoroughly impressed by how smoothly everything went, how amazing our destinations were, and the things that we saw that we wouldn’t hesitate to reach out to you for our next African vacation. I can’t tell you how many people we ran into at the camps that also dealt with you guys and so appreciated your help with their planning. We even heard about your office in the UK 😎

Here is a quick breakdown of the stops we had…

KILIMANJARO

Comfort from Asilia was standing there with a sign when we cleared customs, was very welcoming (Karibu) and took us to Onsea, unfortunately it was raining at that time, and it was dark when we arrived, and dark when we left, but seemed to be a very nice place, breakfast was good.

There was a little bit of confusion at the Arusha airport as there is no tickets… our name is on a list, and apparently that’s all we need or get. It was a little disconcerting until we heard that from more camp managers as we continued our trip. Your instructions said we would get all of our tickets so it freaked me out a bit. That said, there was never an issue at the airstrips.

I was a little unsure about tipping Comfort, and hope he wasn’t insulted, it was a bit crazy, and he had to leave to pick up someone else

OLIVER’S CAMP

The Camp manager Ken picked us up at the Tarangire airstrip, and every one else on our flight went to other vehicles, so we had the most amazing personal first safari before going to the camp. We even saw Wild Dogs.

Oliver’s camp is fantastic, the accommodations, Ken & Michelle really made us feel welcome and like everything we saw on our drives or walks were important. The staff, from Andrew who looked after us with wake up calls, our room, and evening escorts was so friendly, the rest of the staff were so great… you never told us we would put on weight, food was fantastic!

The guides; Mizanga our driver, and Alex our walking guide were not only informative, but had amazing eyes, told us such great stories and history, and we all had a lot of laughs.

Highlight included our first day and not being able to return to our tent because a group of elephants were on the trail, or just sitting on our little deck and watching the elephant troops wander across the valley in front of us.

We were really sad to leave our first camp, and I wouldn’t hesitate to go back their again… Tarangire is stunning!!!!

LAKE MANYARA AND NGORONGORO

We got picked up by Freddie from Asilia, and I have to say, of all the guides, he was amazing. So smart, friendly, funny… he really took care of us, made wise decisions on timing and travel in the crater that should have been super busy and congested at times and ended up being quite tranquil and peaceful. Waiting for us to get on the flight to the Serengeti, just thoughtful.

Sadly we didn’t see any of the cats in Lake Manyara, but it was a truly different type of park, and I am glad we got some time to explore it… the birds were spectacular.

Ngorongoro Sopa was a very nice hotel, the pool looked beautiful. We did end up at the far end which made for quite the walk uphill at elevation when going for dinner or heading out for the drive. You would think being at the end would make it more peaceful, but their walls seem to be paper thin, and we could hear every word of our noisy door slamming neighbors. Also, their hand soap smells like a urinal cake, but that’s why you bring your own, right?

The crater was great, Freddie made sure we were the first ones in, which resulted in some private time with a group of lions that took down a buffalo. Later in the day we saw a group of male lions that took down another buffalo and it was the craziest gridlock of vehicles we ever saw. Made us appreciate the morning session. Freddie suggested we leave this and come back later, which allowed us to see some Rhino’s with only a few cars, we ate lunch in the car and waited to have a rhino walk straight up towards us and when everyone bee-lined for him, we went back to see the Lion Kill… perfect!

ALEX WALKER’S SERIAN

This camp was also very cool, different style as a portable camp, Alex was very friendly, but he is a very different kind of host than Ken & Michelle, he loves to control a table and share his stories. We did ask him about doing a walking safari when we arrived, and once more, but it never did happen… maybe that was best as Alex at Oliver’s would be hard to top.

Elephants or hippos right in front of your tent definitely is exciting.

We had Madebe and Sadala as guides, and they were fantastic people to spend 3 long days with, we learned a ton of Swahili, a lot about the Tanzanian and Masai people, and I can’t even begin to tell you just how amazing Sadala is at spotting wildlife. He saw a Rhino in a bush right beside the truck that we didn’t see until he finally came out of the bush, and he spotted a large pride of lions across a valley, at least a kilometre away… amazing! When we first got picked up by them they made our breakfast or lunch and went to the other side of the truck to eat out of respect or to provide privacy. The last few days we all sat together and ate, they were such great people that I will never forget.

And that group of Lions Sadala spotted… a pride of 13 lions including 3 cubs sitting on a rock (see picture), and we were the only ones there.

SELOUS

One of the suggestions I might make to reduce on the air travel is if someone is doing both North and South circuits, is to have them fly to Ruaha first, then Selous, then Zanzibar. The flights from Kogatende to 2 strips in Selous, to Arusha where we changed planes, to Zanzibar, to Dar Es Salaam where we changed planes, then onto Selous was exhausting and took up a better part of the day.

Upon arrival at Selous we are greeted with cold towels, a nice drink, and end up on a boat cruise after settling in was a very nice welcome. Being in a small aluminum boat with hippos and crocs all around is pretty freaky, so much so we did a morning boat cruise a couple days later 😎 Well, seeing a pride of lions on the shore from a boat was pretty fantastic.

Most of the time we were there the 2 camp managers weren’t there, but Emiel was fantastic, very friendly and wanting to know how we were doing, what we were enjoying.

Mashaka as a guide was awesome, he wanted so bad for us to see a Leopard, but he did make sure we saw Wild Dogs and Lion Cubs. Having 2 large Lions walk right up to teh truck, less than a metre away from my leg was something you don’t forget.

We had a waiter named Mohammed who was so friendly and there all the time for us, but I have to say the tipping at Selous was out of control. You had so many people to consider; the driver guide, the boat guide, the 2 walking guides, your waiter, your room steward, the general staff… your guidance on tipping was fine for most everywhere else, but this place was expensive and had me doubting whether we brought enough money

RUAHA

Remember when I said we should maybe have done Ruaha first and then Selous for flight reasons? I couldn’t think of a better camp than Jongomero to remember as our last stop.

Molly and Noelle are very friendly, very high energy high volume hosts… it did rub a few people the wrong way as they can dominate a conversation. I thought they were great, but I think this is their last season there anyways.

Our guide Frank was really really nice, and wanted to make sure we saw lots of things. There is a bigger challenge at Jongomero in that there isn’t other drivers they can check in with when something is spotted. Other than the one other vehicle from the camp, we didn’t see any other cars from other camps the entire time, and we saw the rangers once. Jongomero definitely feels like it’s own little world. Having Frank tell us legendary stories and family stories about the animals and surroundings was such a treat.

Highlights are the Marketplace where we saw hundreds of elephants, at one time, you couldn’t turn in any direction without seeing a group of elephants. Having a male elephant walk over to the camp and start drinking from the pool while we were in it is something I will never forget. And not being able to leave for the airport because a Mother elephant and her 2 babies were between us and the jeep was the perfect ending to our safaris!

ZANZIBAR

Another really long flight day from Jongomero to Ruaha, to Selous, to Dar change planes, to Zanzibar

When we arrived, wow! What an amazing beach. Even when the tide was out you could wander on a sandy bottom sea for almost a kilometre

The room we had was at the end of the beach (Val’s Room), and had the best view of the beach. It was a simple room, perhaps a little dated but really suited the wind down we wanted to do.

There was a big issue with ants on our patio early in the morning, and we had a ceiling fan that would go into a thunka thunka mode that ended with us turning the fan off on a very hot evening. We told them about it, and they came and worked on it several days, replacing the switch, and re-arranging the room, but it kept doing it. I did let them know when we left.

We did do a day tour to Stone Town, and it was very interesting, kind of depressing (especially having been to similar layouts in Greece), but I wouldn’t go back there. I would go back to the Zanzibar beach though! What a nice way to wind down from our safari’s. Planting a flag in the sand and getting drinks brought to your lounger… uh-huh.

The food at Pongwe was very good… actually the food everywhere was very good, too good. Very unexpected.

Our flight from Zanzibar to Dar landed in Dar before it was supposed to take off from Zanzibar… funny.

J. Lamattina, USA. 2012.

WOW!

We can’t ever thank you enough for such an incredible trip. Words can’t begin to describe how perfect everything was. We loved it…the kids loved it…

The accommodations were excellent…each w/their own appeal.

Staff at each camp was excellent…food, managers, housekeeping.

The sequence of the camps…from Royal Livingstone to Kwetsani to Little Mombo to Jack’s was perfect! Note about Jack’s camp: we were lucky enough to be able to do their surprise sleep out on the pans! What an experience…I wasn’t sure about Jack’s camp and was worried it wouldn’t be right. But we’d seen so much wildlife in Mombo, another camp would have been redundant. Keeping the sleep out a surprise is a good thing…I’m glad we didn’t know. Don’t tell people…the surprise is worth it. And, of course, some can’t do it due to sandstorms, etc. And you were right: the kids loved the 4X4s and the meerkats.

The surprise birthday party was incredible: message written w/beans on the bed when we returned from afternoon outing…champagne for us…handwritten birthday cards…animal prints from an artist

Guides were all knowledgeable, friendly, patient w/kids (Ronald in Kwetsani…but he’s going off to join his brother’s mobile safari business; Mos in Little Mombo…GREAT!!!! Excellent w/the kids; Chabba in Jack’s…wonderful wonderful. Funny, knowledgeable.)

Logistics all happened without a hitch.

Victoria Falls: I’m glad I pre-arranged our activities. The schedule of events and choices were good…this probably should have been organized with the original trip itinerary.

I really can’t say how perfect everything was.

I must say: I was the one who pushed for this trip with the family. I chose Africa Odyssey & the camps, with your input. And clearly it was a very very major cost. We had previously taken another grandchild to the Galapagos…a trip that was so fabulous and filled with so many memories, I could imagine anything could come close. So, I was quite nervous, hoping everything would be “worth it”. I kinda felt “on the line”.

But my husband, our daughter and I…who had all been on the Galapagos trip…agreed. We didn’t think anything could equal that…but this did. And perhaps, surpassed it. There were experience and memories we will all cherish forevery.

Once I get over my jet lag and get some of our, literally, thousands of pictures downloaded, I will post a review on TripAdvisor re: Africa Odyssey and each of the individual camps.

Thank you again. I hope, someday, to return to Africa. If so, I will certainly use Africa Odyssey & I will definitely recommend you to our friends!

Best regards,

D. Trice, USA. 2012.

I just wanted to let you know that our group had a fantastic trip and that all the arrangements you made for us were perfect. The highlights of the trip were the stays at Serian and Beho Beho, the latter being the favorite of the ladies. The Crater and Manyara were predictably crowded but we had a good day in the Crater. We spent 3 nights in Stone Town on Zanzibar and all agreed that one night there would have been better.

My favorite place was Alex’s Serian camp and we enjoyed having Alex as our guide. The days were long (6:30 am til dark) but we saw some incredible things. The highlights were:

A huge male water buffalo walking straight through a pride of 15 lions at twilight to get to his watering hole. He had no fear of the lions who gave some thought to an attack but without males around, they wisely avoided a contest.

2 Mara River crossings and another tributary crossing

A cheetah kill of a Thompson’s gazelle

A leopard catching the early morning sun on a high rock. Later, a lion appeared on the rock above the leopard. The leopard was quite aware of the newcomer but the rocks were screened by shrubs and it did not appear the lioness was aware of the leopard. We watched the leopard climb down the rocks and later into a tree.

Some of our group also saw a rhino

Lots and lots of elephant and obviously 1000’s of wildebeest.

At Beho Beho highlights were:

Tracking lion prints and finding 5 lions on a very recent kill of a small giraffe

Birds at Lake Tagalala

Walking trips away from the lodge and getting within 15 meters of an elephant

Finding a leopard on the way back to the lodge after sundowners

A lion walking through the camp one evening and letting us know of his presence

A group of 8 elephants who visited the camp daily. The herd included 2 very young elephants and they were a joy to watch. We shot a short film of them from the shower in our banda.

The accommodations at Beho Beho were luxurious and service and food (thanks Karin) were outstanding. As mentioned, the all the women loved Beho Beho including the more relaxed pace where you return to the lodge for lunch and avoid the mid day heat. This makes sense but I would have liked the option to stay out and would have liked more time to explore around Lake Manze where we saw lots of game and lions.

All in all a fabulous trip which was greatly enjoyed by all 13 in our group. Thanks for all your assistance.

P. Harvey, UK. 2012.

Hi Ted,

Yes we made it back fine and had a wonderful trip.

Plantation Lodge was great well placed for Manyara and the Crater. The Crater gave us loads of photo opportunity and had some great close up shots of black rhino.

The highlight of our trip was the Serengeti and the wildebeest migration. The guys at Nomads certainly know there stuff and we had a fantastic time with Emmanuel as our guide. We had the camp to ourselves so got special service and nothing compares to actually witnessing the migration and the circle of life that follows it. We saw many predators including a cheetah stalking and a pair of lionesses relaxing after feeding on a water buffalo . We learn t so much about the game there which was abundant ,in fact the only thing we didn’t see close up was a leopard.

The accommodation at Nomads was excellent hot showers great food and free bar!

Traveling to Zanzibar to finish our trip worked well and the Mchanda beach lodge was a perfect hideaway . Again we had the place to ourselves !. So as you can imagine the service was faultless with our own pool ,restaurant , beach ,bar, and spa. ! It was magical and every thing we had hoped for .

We would like to thank you for your expertise and service and we are already talking of our next trip to Africa.

The Selous combined with the Mahale mountains looks good !

Regards,

T. Enticknap, UK. 2012.

Hi Edward,

Thank you for the attachment.

No, we didn’t see wild dog, although we spent a morning looking for them, but we saw just about everything else! Lots of lion – in prides with a kill, solitary males, and in small groups. One pride had two cubs and we were really lucky to find a pair of lionesses (with three adorable two-month old cubs) who were in the process of hunting. One continued on her way across the valley to hunt giraffe, whilst the mother lay down in front of us and suckled her cubs. A magical moment! We saw a female cheetah three times, again with three cubs – the first time they were very thin and hungry, the second she was hunting impala but failed to make a kill and the third time they all had full bellies! Add to the list wildebeest, a 300-strong herd of buffalo walking directly towards us, civet cat and, on two separate occasions, serval! Eland, dik-dik, Grant’s gazelle, vervet monkeys, greater and lesser kudu, hippos etc as well as the usual suspects and lots and lots of birds. One very early morning, our guide was hugely excited to spot an ardwolf, but Tony just got a glimpse and I didn’t see anything at all! Oh yes, and we saw a pair of hyena with a young cub sunbathing outside their den as well as a group of three squabbling over the remains of a kill, surrounded by jackals. As for the leopards, we saw our first up a tree between being picked up from the airstrip and taken to Mwagusi – what a welcome! The second slunk across the track in front of us just as it was becoming dark one evening and it was a very brief sighting, but a leopard nonetheless! On the third occasion, we saw two cubs a few months old, each up a separate tree whilst the mother was off hunting. An elephant tried to take off our banda roof one night, and was blocking the doorway on the morning we left! I find it amazing how quickly they can change from placid creatures into raging behemoths when they feel they are being threatened. We had a couple of scary moments, including one afternoon when we were on the lake at Selous, close to the bank, and an elephant got quite stroppy and charged us. We backed off and were lucky enough to see him swimming across the lake to an island, using his trunk as a snorkel. That was quite a moment! By the end of the trip, we were just awestruck by the amount of wildlife we had seen and couldn’t believe our good fortune. Undoubtedly, a lot of this was down to the skill of our brilliant guide at Mwagusi who had a real instinct for knowing where to find the animals, and his knowledge and enthusiasm were outstanding.

Sorry to go on about it – of course you’ve heard it all before, but you did ask!!

Lucky you to have lived in Africa for so long – we can’t wait to return.

Kind regards,

H. Meyer, UK. 2012.

Dear Ted,

We are just back from our trip to Tanzania and we would like to thank you very much for organizing a fantastic trip all around. Every facet of the trip was organized to perfection, faultless.

We had experienced guides throughout, Afred at the crator and Fadhil in Serengetti. I think we all preferred Serengetti and Olakira camp because it is less touristy and more in the wild and we were fortunate to see the big 5 on this trip, plus the Great migration (albeit a 3 hour drive from our camp due to the late rain this year).

We would be happy to serve as a reference to other customers and will definitely use your company in the future for any trip to Africa!

Thanks again and all the best,

P. Perkins, USA. 2012.

Dear Edward, Julian and everyone at Tanzania Odyssey,

We just wanted to let you know that our trip to Africa was simply fabulous! All of the arrangements worked out perfectly for us. As soon as we tranferred to Selous Safari Camp, Emiel the ebullient manager, launched us in a boat and soon we were motoring down the Ruffigi river chased by hippos while 10 different types of storks and herons flew overhead.

Our “tents” were beautiful and the food and service was outstanding. We can’t recommend Mwita, our guide, enough.

It was so hard to leave that place, but when we landed at Ruaha we were in for another extraordinary experience. On the way back from the air-strip we visited a pack of hunting dogs resting after killing 3 impala before even being seen to our room!

After lunch we saw herds of elephants, zebra, cape buffalo and a group of of lions. Kimbura was our knowledgeable and incredibly enthusiastic guide. Our host Andrew “Molly” Molinari seemed to know everything about the area and regaled us with informative and hilarious stories about the flora and fauna of Ruaha. Jongomera is specutacular!

No other camp is near it so it seemed as though we had the whole park to ourselves. We can’t recommend either of these camps enough.

D. Budden, Canada. 2012.

Helloooooooooo Edward!

It is high time I sent you a review of the trip you so kindly helped organize for us back in March!

As you had predicted, it was ‘EPIC”! We all thoroughly enjoyed the entire 8 days and have no regrets about, finally, booking with you.

You probably do so many of these bookings that you may not remember us. i am the annoying Canadian that you were very generous with when we were having a bidding war with premier tours out of Philidelphia, I believe.

We stayed at Xigera, Dumatau and Toka Leya camps. The accommodations were superb, the guides wonderful AND amazing, and the wildlife viewing exceeded our expectations! What else can I say?

Thank you, thank you Edward!

Beg, UK. 2012.

Just wanted to drop you a note to let you know that everything went off perfectly. Your recommendations and planning were spot on – Faru Faru and Vamizi were the highlights, though the Crater Lodge was also amazing despite being a little chilly. The Nomad guide was outstanding and the ‘camping’ experience good fun. Thanks for all your help and I’ll be sure to send any friends planning a trip to Africa your way.

D. McKee, USA. 2012.

Hi Edward

highlights are difficult to pinpoint as the whole trip was so great. But I would say the game viewing and the diving.

We caught the latter end of the wildebeest migration – what an awesome sight and sound. Driving to our Serengeti Lodge the first night we arrived there we drove through a valley through which the herd was passing. Habib stopped the vehicle – and the noise was incredible! Like the sound of a small train going through. I had never imagined the sound that 1000s of wildebeests in close quarters would make. And on our last day driving out of the park we caught the start of the zebra migration which follows the wildebeest.

The cheetah kill was another amazing sight that happened right in front of us. We also got up close and personal with a small herd of elephants at Lake Manyara. The sight of the vast plains of Serenegeti teeming with game, and the Ngorongoro Crater like a huge bowl of wildlife are memories that will stay with me. And the leopard in the tree just metres from our vehicle – sleeping peacefully quite unconcerned that we were so close to him.

Then arriving in Zanzibar to the white soft sand beach and the blue seas. We booked the diving through the lodge with Scuba Libre Diving. Very professional outfit too. The first day the diving was among the best we have ever had. Second day was really good, but the weather was changing and the visibility not so good. Still great dive – we saw Frog fish, Stone fish, turtles, moray eels, Scorpion fish and many others. So we decided to spend the 3rd day relaxing at Shooting Star – long walk on the beach, chill on the lounger at the pool. And then ended off with a wonderful sea swim on the incoming tide – great waves and body surfing!

The Jozani forest trip was interesting. We had a really great guide, Abdul. Very knowledgeable. And Stone Town was fascinating with all the little winding alleyways and streets. Loved the hotel – and what superb seafood in their restaurant.

I found a forum on TripAdvisor where someone asked about your operation, and left a comment there. I could not find a TripAdvisor page for your company. But I did leave comment on the pages for both Roy Safari’s and Shooting Star Lodge.

Once again our thanks for interpreting our wishes to perfection. The trip ran like a well-oiled wheel, with everyone and everything as on the itinerary. Such great organisation meant we could really enjoy our holiday to the full.

Regards

D. McKee, USA. 2012.

Edward and Julian

thank you for the most amazing trip to Tanzania the past 10 days. Edward – you were spot on with the itinerary!

We had an absolute ball – saw the Big 5 including a cheetah kill happen in front of our eyes – and the Small 5000 other animals and birds. Thanks to our guide Habib from Roy safaris – he really made it special. And the diving was wonderful too.

All arrangements were great – were met and guided and cared for with gracious hospitality by everyone. Tanzanians are wonderful people – made us feel like we were their personal guests.

Accommodation was exactly what we were looking for. From the lodge at Ngorongoro to the Beyt in Stone Town – all met and exceeded what we hoped for.

We are definitely planning to go back – this time for longer!

Once again thanks for putting it all together for us, especially at such short notice.

Regards

B. Summitt, USA. 2012.

Julian,

Sorry I have been out of touch….certainly not always easy from Africa. No wi-fi on the train.

We had an absolutely wonderful trip. All worked seemlessly so there were no problems.

We were very pleased with the Sankara hotel (FYI only…know you did not book) A lovely modern plushy hotel in the city. Not sure about the area but the hotel could not have been more helpful or straight-forward.

You know they kept our luggage while we were in the Masai Mara camp and that worked fine.

Naibor camp was just everything wonderful that we could have wanted. Great, great staff….great game drives with great guide….the current camp director is a young man who will be here this year….his name is Ivan and he had a young intern named Troy working there at the time.

As is their custom we had dinner together every night. They were lots of fun and very helpful. There was only one other family in the camp and they chose to eat as a family. Really they did not leave a stone unturned to be meet any need we had and they have a wonderful, beautiful place to do it in. We were very pleased…thank you for reccommending Nairbor.

Oyster Bay Hotel was very lovely and quite the paradise after leading the camp life. We were sorry we had only one night in Dar but it was a good night.

Our Rovos rail trip was extrodinary as well. Again….anything you wanted was included except for the events at Vic. Fall…If you left your cabin on the train the hostess was in tidying…..all the time. Amazing and we never saw her. We had a travel writer from East Anglican named Peter and he is going to do a 3-4 part series on the train trip.

Perhaps we can do business again….thanks….

C & D. Summers, UK. 2012.

Dear Julian,

We have had an amazing holiday in Tanzania – thanks so much for all the planning that you put into it.

We were so disappointed to have such a short time at Onsea House, especially when you had gone to all the trouble of fixing the honeymoon suite and we were particularly miffed to miss the meal as we didn’t arrive until after midnight.

Alex Walker’s camp was exactly what we wanted. You were right, we felt really involved with the actual bush – especially when we were out walking with the Massai and Hadza guides who were with us; they did tracking and dug up roots for us to eat and taught us about the plants. The honey guide also came with us and opened up his ‘hanging log’ hive to find us some honey. We loved it all, so interesting. It was also great to have our own truck, driver and guide when we went out; we saw masses of animals and absolutely masses of birds. All in all a great mix, especially as there was only one other couple there, so camp life was tremendous fun.

As for Faru Faru, I’m really glad that we did fly in the end – thanks so much for re-fixing it at short notice. We had seen huge herds of wildebeest and the rain enroute ensured that the driving that we did do to the airstrip was mainly sideways – so a longer journey could have been difficult. Anyway, we didn’t want to miss a moment of Faru Faru, it totally lived up to your description 5*******! The lodge was amazing, the food was absolutely superb, even better than the top vineyard meals that we had had in South Africa. Also Aloyce was totally on our wave length, even more enthusiastic than me! We had a fantastic time discussing every bird and animal; my bird list was pages long, he really made a huge effort. Lunch at Sasakwa was quite an experience; they showed us round the whole lodge after lunch including the cottages. It was all quite amazing but, you judged it correctly, totally over the top for us to stay there.

So well done Julian – you have done it again, we had a really wonderful time – thanks so much!

With love, Diz

Hyland, USA. 2012.

Dear Ted,

I want to let you know what a great trip I had to Selous and Zanzibar. I’ve posted my photos to Facebook and have already given several friends your contact information. So if you get more American diplomats coming your way, especially from tough places like Afghanistan and Sudan, you know it is probably one of my friends!

All the arrangements were perfect and pick-ups happened on time without any problems. Everyone was extremely nice and professional. In comparing notes with others who have gone to Zanzibar, I know Ras Nungwi was really the best place for me and my friends. We had a terrific time, and the food was very good. The sun is strong. Lots of protection recommended.

The safari experience was fabulous. Selous Safari Camp took very good care of me and as a person who doesn’t particularly like solo travelling, I can’t imagine a better solo experience. (they didn’t let me get lonely). Possibly, I did not see all the animals you might see in other places, but the pace (slower) and density of humans (much lower) were wonderful. We weren’t falling over other jeeps and people and often had the lions all to ourselves. Having the options of going on the lake/river and even a walking safari (after days sitting in a jeep or boat) was really special, and I enjoyed it all. Thanks again for putting it all together. I hope you’ll be getting some requests for the “trip Colleen had.”

Ellingsen Family, Norway. 2012.

Hi Ted,

We are all well back into the snow from a fantastic holiday in Africa. Thank you very much for a well-organized arrangement! The logistics went very well and the transfers were on time and almost without any problems. Upon arrival in Kilimanjaro we were met by a nice woman who took us through the pass port control and the customs and out to the cars. Coastal Air went on-time and seemed to be a very good company. Only at the transfer from the domestic airport to the international airport in Dar-es Salam we had some problems: there was no transfer. But we had the pilot from Coastal Air to call and after 30 min a car came and took us to the airport.

The safari with Alex Walker was a fantastic experience! Everyone felt “at home” in the camp and established a good and close contact with Alex, Billy and the guides. We saw all animals, but the leopard, and had some memorable days driving in the open cars and twice on walking safaris. On Christmas eve we had a walking safari up to a big rock and while being served drinks and some food we enjoyed the sun set before leaving for the camp and dinner!

Everyone agreed on that the feeling of being away from the crowd was one very important part of the wilderness feeling in the camp – very different from what we experienced when we had a day in the Ngorongoro crater. The tent made us feel that we were on a real safari; the service was good, the food delicious and the guiding excellent! Everyone was really sad when we had to leave after 4 unforgettable nights with loads of impressions. The week at Ras Nungwi was very different, relaxing at a nice resort with a low pace, fabulous kitchen and nice staff giving us some good days in the sun to digest all the impressions from the safari.

You will definitely see us back in Africa!

J. Cole, USA. 2012.

Hello Ted and other Tanzania Agents…

My friend, Susan J and I went to Africa this past October.

I believe Susan got a email from you folks when she returned however I did not and I understand as the booking was all under Jakubiz.

However I did want to send my comments.

I had the most amazing trip. Susan and I have done quite a bit of travelling over the last 6 years and I can tell you that you folks never missed a beat on this adventure. The communications between you and the people in Africa went so smooth. It amazed me that here we were standing out in the wild with elephants on the grass and all of a sudden a plane would come in. Pilot would get out and call our names. Great services….. actually excellent service

The Palacina was a wonderful entrance to the beginning of this magical adventure. The service was beyond words. We purchased some larger items while we were there. Brought them back to Palacina with us and they stored them for us. When we returned from Stone Town, one of their employees was at the airport with these items so we could check them home. That is service.

Little Governors – what can I say. I loved it there. Service was excellent and I loved the hot water bottles in my bed at night. So many animals and our guides were amazing. We so enjoyed the balloon ride and have excellent pictures.

Serian Camp – a very difference place. And I enjoyed it. It certainly was out in the wild. Our guides were excellent and we got to see a crossing and animals.

Plantation Lodge – would have liked to have stayed there for at least another day.

Oliver’s Camp – another great place and service food was excellent.

Stone Town – needed more time there. Susan got sick so we really didn’t get to see very much but I purchased great jewellery so I was happy.

I can’t say enough about this trip. Thank you so much for such great service.

I want to go back tomorrow however will have to wait a couple of years and then I want my husband to come along. For sure want to stay at the Palacina and Little Governors. I will be in touch when we are ready to start looking at dates.

Again thank you.

Corn, UK. 2012.

We had a fantastic time this Christmas in Tanzania and Zanzibar. We’ve been on safari before – to Kenya – but this surpassed anything we’d experienced. We started off with 2 days in the Ngorogoro Crater, with our guide Ammy. The crater is teeming with wildlife, and we saw huge amounts of game, which Ammy was expert at getting exceptionally close to. On the third day, as we were travelling round the rim early in the morning to rendezvous with our next driver, we saw a leopard walking along the road. He disappeared into the bush, but then reappeared behind us, and walked towards us – totally unconcerned. It was the first time in 3 safaris we had seen a leopard, so it was extra special for us. We then spent four days in Serian Camp, which was one of the most amazing experiences of our lives. As we arrived, we were met by Alex Walker and his partner Billie, who were exceptionally welcoming and lovely, and showed us to our tents. As our children are quite young (10 & 12), and the tents were quite far apart, the girls had one, and the boys another. We had the most amazing time at Serian – this seemed like real safari, rather than the rather sanitised version you encounter at most hotels or lodges. The tents were great – large beds, hot showers on demand (from a canvas bag outside!), a toilet and a basin. Every morning, we were woken with hot water and tea or hot chocolate (a firm favourite with the kids), and every night when we went to bed, we had lovely hot water bottles to snuggle up with (who needs a husband!) Our tents looked directly out onto the Serengeti, and lying in bed, my daughter and I could see wildebeeste and Masai cattle, and hear all sort of very large bugs throwing themseves against the window nets! Our driver and spotter – Michael and Mbaraka – were fantastic, and we had 4 amazing days with them. Up early, and off for the day (none of this 1 game drive in the morning , 1 in the afternoon!). We’d set off at 6.00am, drive for a couple of hours, and them Michael and Mbaraka would pull up in the middle of the plains, under a shady acacia tree, set up 4 canvas chairs, and lay us out a breakfast fit for a king! If you haven’t eaten breakfast under an acacia tree filled with weaver birds, watched by hyena and zebra, you haven’t lived. Another few hours drive, then a repeat performance for lunch – perfect. Its the rainy season in the Serengeti at this time, so the ground was quite boggy, and we ended up stuck in the mud more than once. However, it was always fun, and even when we were stuck for 6 hours, we had the spectacle of the local tractor coming to pull us out, and getting stuck himself, and then being rescued, just as the sun went down, by Alex himself – luckily, our packed lunch included a bottle of chilled white wine, so Jeremy and I were happy. The ride home in the dark in Alex’s Land Cruiser (I want one of these!) was spectacular – racing through the pitch black bush, aquaplaning over the water at speed so we wouldn’t get stuck, with my son Joe on my lap, Jeremy with our daughter Elena on his lap in the front and 6 Masai crammed in with us as well (in a 5 seater vehicle!) , is something I will never forget. The best thing was – 5 minutes out of camp, Alex radioed in for hot showers for all of us, 2 hot chocolates, and 2 gin and tonics, which were waiting for us as we arrived. I could go on: sundowners at the large rock outcrop near the camp, the camp fire every night, the Masai escort to and from the tents at night, the convivial dinners in the mess tent, the fact that they let the kids drive the land cruisers – not just a few hundred metres – but 20 kms each, up and down river beds, and at speeds up to 40kms!. The kids loved it – as they also loved being taught to shoot a Masai bow by Nuki and his friend, and having a go at making fire with two bits of wood (we didn’t manage it). We loved every second of our time there, and were sorry to leave on Christmas Eve to go on to Zanzibar. However, we arrived at Breezes for Christmas, and had a great time there too. Very relaxing, with lots going on every day and evening. Staff were lovely, room was great and they did Christmas and New Year very well. All in all, a fantastic holiday – no downside at all – every flight was on time, every driver was there to meet us when they were supposed to be – we can’t fault a thing. I think we all want to go back to Serian again – hopefully for longer next time.

…..sorry ted – this seems to have developed into an epic – not just a few lines. As you can probably tell – we had a great time, Thank you for organising everything for us. Whilst we were at serian, we met chris, dickie and their family from islington, whose holiday you had also arranged!

Marsh, USA. 2012.

Our family has just returned from an incredibly perfect trip to Tanzania. We are usually pretty capable of planning our own trips, but traveling to Africa proved to be more than we could handle on our own. By chance we came across Tanzania Odyssey on the Internet and we gave them a call. Ted Archdale handled all of our arrangements and he did a flawless job. He suggested all of the lodging and the number of nights to stay at each location. We put our faith in him, followed his advice to the letter, and it was the smartest thing we have ever done. Everything was so tremendous and exceeded all of our expectations by leaps and bounds. Ted also arranged all of the air and ground transportation within Tanzania and everything went off without a hitch. Drivers and guides met us at the precise times every step of the way. We were fully prepared for confusion, delays, and lost luggage, but not a single thing went wrong in our itinerary. Ted and Tanzania Odyssey know what they are doing. They have a wealth of knowledge about Tanzania, and planned the most memorable and wonderful trip for our family. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

P. Seedhouse, USA. 2012.

We had wonderful holiday in Tanzania and everything ran smoothly.

Mchanga Lodge was great, very good food, friendly staff, very relaxing and we didn’t do very much due to the heavy rains. Perfect for our needs and a beautiful place.

Beho Beho was superb and met all of our expectations. The staff and guides were superb, rooms and food of a very high standard and the park and game viewing excellent.

All in all very impressed and would not hesitate in recommending our choices and would certainly use your services again.

Thanks for all of you help.

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